Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Those Punks at the Library

The grand entrance to the Eden Prairie public library is solid stone with an arch protecting the cars who are dropping off people at the door. Several flower beds housed in a retaining wall tall enough to sit on and benches ornament the outside of the building, and directly inside the door is a waiting area, followed by a hallway. Both the entry way and the hallway are lined with benches. Since the library is free to use, lots and lots of kids hang out there. Sometimes whole groups get together and fill all the available benches.

These kids are a stark contrast to the artsy grandness of the building, and many of the teenage boys are decked out baggy clothes and sport cold, steely glares. In a lapse of cognitive thinking, I sometimes forget that I also have nothing better to do than go to the library - after all, all of us are at the library at the same time. And at these times I look at the kids who are hanging around and they creep me out.

Today my goal was to return as many books as I check out. I brought 10 back, and, sadly, picked up 11 new books. I am completely stressed out trying to get through all my library books before they come due. I check out my 11 books, several of which are 2 inches thick, and carry the stack towards the door. I glimpse a young Hispanic man with dark, spiked hair. As I walk towards him he moves in a way that looks like he is getting ready to open the door. It startles me to see him as the only people who have ever opened the library door for me are the ones also going through the door.

Two steps later reveal the intentions of this kid. He opens the door and in my state of shock I don't find it in me to blurt out what a kind, gracious, wonderful person he is. Instead I only manage to mumble, "Thanks," and as I walk past him our eyes lock and he flashes a generous, warm smile. With that smile shining at me, I have to return the warmest smile I have in me.

This guy completely made my day. Hopefully someone else is more on top of it and will be able to let him know how great he is.

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